Mixed Messages as SP-500 Closes at All Time High...

By: Mark McMillan | Thu, Jul 24, 2014
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7/24/2014 8:47:42 AM

Dow sells off some and Semiconductors plunge...

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Long SDRL at $33.90 on June 15, 2012 (Shares were put to us when options expired. We were paid $1.10 per share when we sold those options and bought shares for $35.00 each.) We have collected dividends: June 10, 2014 $1.00, March 5, 2014 $0.98, December 3, 2013 $0.95, September 5, 2013 $0.91, June 5, 2013 $0.88, $1.70 Dec 4, 2012, $0.84 Sep 4, 2012. Total = $6.28 in dividend payments.
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A modest gap up open was followed by mixed trading and the major indexes closed mixed, with the S&P-500 recording an all time high close, the NASDAQ-100 reporting a multi-year high close, and the Dow selling off modestly. All three maintain their position above their 20-, 50-, and 200-Day Moving Averages (DMAs), in trading states, with a BULLISH BIAS. In fact, except for the canaries, all equity indexes we regularly monitor are above their respective 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs and have a BULLISH BIAS and are in trading states, with the exception of the Dow Jones Transports (IYT 151.62 +0.39) which is in an uptrend state. The Semiconductor Index (SOX 634.45 -14.90) was crushed losing more than two percent while the Finance Sector ETF (XLF 22.97 +0.05) was able to manage a modest gain. Of the three canaries, the Russell-2000 (IWM 114.87 +0.14) was able to post a modest gain to once again close below its 20-DMA and even with its 50-DMA and above its 200-DMA. It is in a trading state but has a BEARISH BIAS. The other two canaries, the Bank Index (KBE 32.35 +0.09) and the Regional Bank Index (KRE 38.62 -0.01) closed below their 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs. They are in downtrend states and shifted to a BEARISH BIAS on Wednesday. Longer Term Bonds (TLT 115.18 -0.15) appears to have put in a top posting a modest loss. It maintains an uptrend state and a BULLISH BIAS. It remains above its 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs. Trading volume was essentially unchanged remaining light with 581M shares traded on the NYSE. Trading volume on the NASDAQ increased to average with 1.878B shares traded.

In addition to the weekly crude oil inventory report, there was a single economic report of interest released:

• MBA Mortgage Index for last week rose +2.4%

The report was released hours before the open.

Apple (AAPL 97.19 +2.47) soared after reporting better than expected earnings. AAPL constitutes about 20 percent of the NASDAQ-100 and nearly five percent of the S&P-500.

Seadrill Limited (SDRL 38.05 +0.05) posted a modest gain. The next target above remains $40.96, it's closing price on the last trading day of 2013. It is in an trading state. We sold March 2014 $35.00 put contracts for $150 at the open on Feb 18th, 2014 and bought shares at $35.43. The stock is now trading ex-dividend for $0.98 and one dollar for total dividends issued of $1.98. The shares were put to us at $35.00 less the $1.50 per share we were paid for the puts, so we have an effective price of $33.50.

The U.S. dollar and the Euro were essentially unchanged with the dollar maintaining its position above its 200-DMA and the Euro below its 200-DMA.

The yield for the 10-year treasuries fell a single basis point to close at 2.46. The price of a barrel of crude oil rose seventy-three cents to close at $103.12. The U.S. government reported that crude oil inventories fell -3.969M barrels last week.

The implied volatility for the S&P-500 (VIX 11.52 -0.72) fell six percent. The implied volatility for the NASDAQ-100 (VXN 12.91 -0.35) fell most of three percent.

Market internals were mixed. Advancers led decliners 4:3 on the NYSE while decliners edged advancers on the NASDAQ. Up volume edge down volume on the NYSE and at a ratio of 5:4 on the NASDAQ. The index put/call ratio fell -0.13 to close at 0.98. The equity put/call ratio was unchanged at 0.59.


While the Dow declined modestly, the semiconductor index was pummeled. The bank indexes closed relatively flat and with just a modest gain for the Russell-2000. The S&P-500 and Dow Jones Transports closed at all time highs and the NASDAQ-100 closed at a multi-year high. What does it mean? It means we have mixed information, which can be confusing and could be clarified in short order but it certainly does not mean that bulls are in lock step control of the market at this time. With the bank indexes in downtrend states and with all three canaries reflecting a BEARISH BIAS, it is time to be careful. It appears the longer-term bond prices may have put in a top, which could cause a liquidity fueled rally for equities. We will maintain our current long positions but we will not be opening new ones just yet and we are willing to exit if we believe that a top has formed. Stay tuned.


We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the McMillan portfolio. You may send comments to mark@stockbarometer.com.



Mark McMillan

Author: Mark McMillan

Mark McMillan
The McMillan Portfolio

Mark McMillan

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